Sunscreens Synthetic vs Natural. What you need to know.

The sun has got it’s hat on, hip hip hip hooray! or that so we sing in our heads when the we get a bit of sunshine is South East Essex.  We all go a bit crazy don’t we? We’ve just had two days of it and I’ve seen men with their tops off aplenty and the traffic?! Oh my goodness.  I live near Southend and Organically Epic is based on Canvey Island.  The go to beaches of choice to those living in the East End.  As everyone lands into the area en mass, the council has a field day with overpriced parking charges and ticket wardens are rubbing their hands with glee.

Whats the one thing every single one of these people have in common on days like these? If they are out in the sun, they need sunscreen.  Hell the Sun can even penetrate glass so slap it on when the temperatures soar.

So, which sunscreen to chose? what’s the best? and is it worth trading in the synthetic mainstream brand for something more natural, perhaps organic and most certainly kinder to your skin.  

Lets have some facts.  

What is a Natural Sunscreen?

In the world of sunscreen, ‘Natural’ is quite a tricky term.  There is no real standard for the term so it is often used (by me as well) to refer to mineral sunscreens.  Mineral sunscreens are those that contain only titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or both as active ingredients – the type of ingredients that protect against the suns UVA and UVB rays. Other, skin soothing, ingredients such as rosehip, coconut, aloe vera are also thrown into the mix to enhance the sunscreen making them work amazingly well, even on sensitive skins. 

How do they work?

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sunscreens work by deflecting the sun’s rays.  They are a physical barrier against the suns UVA and UVB rays.

Zinc oxide is a much safer and more effective sunscreen than titanium dioxide.  Titanium dioxides UV absorption spectrum is not as broad spectrum in UVA and UVB as is Zinc Oxide.

What is a synthetic sunscreen?

Often referred to as chemical sunscreens, which is misleading, chemicals are all around us.  Air is a chemical, we are are made up of chemicals.  So, they are actually made of synthetics and chemicals.

These types of products contain active ingredients such as avobenzone, ecamsule, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, and oxybenzone. 

How do they work?

Synthetic sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays.  They absorb the rays and disperse it across the skin.  Thats why sometimes when you’ve applied sunscreen you feel like your skin is heating up or is blocked.

So, what’s the best?

It’s kind of obvious what I’m going to say, my business is called Organically Epic afterall.  But, my answer is researched, tested and informed.  We believe, Natural/Mineral sunscreens are more effective and also better for the skin.  Sensitive or not, the added ingredients in a natural sunscreen have so many additional benefits.  The thought of blocking the suns rays instead of absorbing them into the ingredient is also a bit easier to get your head around.  And safer in our opinion.  If an ingredient can absorb the suns rays, that’s a pretty potent ingredient.

I’ve always struggled with synthetic sunscreens.  They make my skin itch, my eyes sore and I’ve always burnt my skin, no matter now much I apply.

That said, any sun protection is better than no protection so this isn’t an us and them round up.  We need to protect our skin against the sun and Natural/Mineral isn’t for everyone. The damage that the sun can do in a short space of time to us and our families skin can be catastrophic.   I will add some links below to natural sunscreens that I recommend.  If I could recommend our Eco by Sonya sunscreens I would be all over it, they are the best of the best, however, due to minimum order quantities and other reasons that we are not privvy to, they are not available in the UK or EU.  Yet.  Fingers crossed.

What to remember when it’s warm and sun is shining;

1. Stay hydrated.  It goes without saying but so so easy to forget.  Sunstroke is no joke. It’s bloody awful.
2. Limit your time in the sun between 10 and 4pm.  Yep this is pretty much a full day, however, the UVB rays are at the strongest at that time, and this is the burning kind of UV.  UVA is worse, it’s the cancer kind.
3. If you are in the sun, wear a hat.  Go as cool or as dramatic as you like, everyone loves hats right?
4. Keep small children and babies covered up or near shade.  Don’t let them bake.  That’s not cool and not nice.
5. Don’t forget to protect your eyes and that of your children.  Sunglasses are a must and learn to love them.
6. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Other sunscreens may help keep you from getting sunburned, but they won’t protect against skin cancer.
7.  Reapply sunscreen every two hours – natural or synthetic.  And especially after being in the water.
8. That said make sure it is water resistant and has a SPF of 30 or higher.
9.  If you’re taking medication, check to see if it affects your skin in the sun.  Sometimes medication can make you more susceptible to burning sunscreen or not. We’ve seen it happen.
10.  Be extra careful around water and sand. These surfaces reflect the rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of getting a sunburn.

Check these guys out for natural sunscreens;

Green People

Green People use Nano particles in their formulations.  See their reasoning’s here

An Italian wonder!

Love Lula
A stockist of ours, they have a wonderul selection of natural sunscreens

Another market place with some fab sunscreens – similar to above as there aren’t too many on the market.

Simple As That
One of the best sunscreens I’ve used, however, they are an Aussie brand so would ship from Australia.  Postage and import fees could be an issue.

Happy sunning yourself, the safe, organic way!

Jayne x

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